Housewife charged by ICAC for trying to buy primary one placement with HK$20,000

A housewife was on Wednesday charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for offering HK$20,000 as a bribe to a school principal to secure a primary one placement for her son. 

Li Junping, 45, faces one count of offering an advantage to a public servant, in violation of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. 

She has been released on bail and will appear in the Eastern Court this Friday. 

The results of central allocation for primary one admission for September 2022 were released by the Education Bureau on June 1 and 2 last year.  

Li, unhappy with the original allocation result, then filed an application to Hennessy Road Government Primary School (Causeway Bay) for her son on June 6. Although her son attended an admission interview in mid-June, the boy was not invited for a second interview. 

Li then allegedly offered HK$20,000 in cash to the headmistress of the school on July 18 in a bid to secure a primary one placement for her. Yet, the headmistress turned down the offer, and the school filed a corruption complaint to the ICAC later that same day. 

The school placement application of Li’s son was eventually unsuccessful as well. 

ICAC thanks the school for reporting corruption and its full assistance rendered to the anti-graft agency during its investigation into the case. 

The anti-corruption watchdog also reminded parents to strictly follow established procedures when making school admission applications for their children. 

Parents should never offer bribes in exchange for school placements, ICAC said, adding that they have published a Best Practice Checklist for Governance and Internal Control in Schools, which covers corruption prevention advice on the admission of students.